Former Chelsea winger Paul Canoville believes out-of-form striker Romelu Lukaku could step up to the occasion for the Blues in the FA Cup final against Liverpool next week. The Blues will be keen to exact revenge after losing 11-10 on penalties in the Carabao Cup final against the same opposition.
Lukaku joined Chelsea from Inter Milan for a club-record fee of £97.5 million last summer. However, the Belgian has endured a torrid season, scoring only 12 goals across competitions, and has fallen out of favour with Blues manager Thomas Tuchel. He is currently behind Kai Havertz and Timo Werner in the pecking order. The 28-year-old was an unused substitute in the 1-0 loss at Everton last week.
However, the striker could start against Wolves this weekend ahead of the Liverpool clash at the Wembley. Canoville believes fans and pundits have ‘given up’ on Lukaku too quickly, and the striker could have a role to play in the FA Cup final.
“People given up on big Rom too quick. It’s been a tough season for him and didn’t help himself with the Sky Italian interview (Much as Sky not our friends remember) Don’t anyone be surprised if he don’t score FA Cup winner. Like he did in League cup final,” said Canoville on Twitter.
Lukaku found the back of the net against Liverpool in the EFL Cup final, but he was adjudged offside by VAR. He is, however, unlikely to be part of Chelsea’s starting XI against Liverpool next week, as he has not scored in his last ten Premier League games.
Romelu Lukaku could save Chelsea career with strong finish to campaign
Romelu Lukaku joined Chelsea after an incredible 2020-21 campaign with Inter Milan, scoring 24 goals, as the Nerazurri won their first Scudetto in 11 years..
The 28-year-old has struggled to adapt to Tuchel’s system, though. Reports suggested the Belgian was keen to return to Inter this summer, but according to Si (via The Telegraph), he rubbished those claims.
Lukaku has endured a difficult relationship with Tuchel and the club’s fans in recent weeks due to his lack of work rate and massive dip in form. The striker was jeered by Blues fans when he was subbed off in the second half of their 4-2 defeat to Arsenal a fortnight ago.
He could, however, end the season on a high and save his Blues career if he helps them finish third in the Premier League and win the FA Cup.